There’s nothing more magical than holiday time in New York City — that is, until you have to push yourself through hordes of tourists and mouth-breathers.
The Grinchy, TLDR-version of this article is that virtually everything you plan to do in NYC over the holidays that usually draws a crowd is overrated. Sorry.
But take heart! There are some exceptions to this rule — and plenty of alternatives to choose from that won’t result in you and yours getting overheated, trampled, mobbed, and then some.
To find them, Business Insider consulted staffers who live and work in and around New York City.
Here some of the most overrated things to do in NYC over the holidays, along with some caveats and alternatives.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
“The event packs all the blocks around the tree with selfie-stick-wielding tourists, creating a crowd that can induce claustrophobia, especially for those who (like me) don’t care about oversized Christmas trees that much,” Science and Innovation Editor Dana Varinsky said.
“And the thing is: The tree will be up for the entire season, all lit and everything, exactly as it looks on that first night, but with less crowds and better photo ops.”
Intagramming the perfect picture of the Rockefeller Tree
“It’s always super crowded in Midtown during the holidays, and there’s no such thing as the perfect shot — unless you want it to include a bunch of random tourists in the background,” said Insider Picks Editor Ellen Hoffman, who’s been in New York for more than eight years.
An anonymous Business Insider employee who has lived in New York for five years suggested going to see the Washington Square Park tree instead.
Going anywhere in Midtown
In fact, Hoffman said going anywhere in Midtown ever, but especially during holidays, is a nightmare.
“The massive crowds will swallow you whole if you’re not used to walking around NYC,” she said.
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